Car Ferries on Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan, over three hundred miles long and up to eighty miles wide, blocked rail traffic between lower Michigan and Wisconsin, posing a serious problem to several Michigan lines in the late 1800s as logging revenues declined. In 1892 car-ferry operations from Lake Betsie to Kewaunee, Wisconsin, were begun by the Ann Arbor Railroad. This was the world's first use of car-ferries across such an expanse of open water. Other ferries were soon operating from Ludington, Grand Haven and Muskegon to terminals across the lake, thus forging a vital link in America's railroad network.